CNN’s Dan Merica reports offers this from the rally in Duluth: “President Donald Trump defended his decision to backtrack on a practice of separating undocumented immigrant families on the US-Mexico border at a rally in Duluth, Minnesota, on Wednesday, telling a fired-up audience that the change would not weaken his border strategy. His comments cut against his initial reluctance to sign an executive order to stop the family separations, which drew widespread criticism from Republicans and Democrats for the past several days. ‘Today, I signed an executive order,’ he said. ‘We’re going to keep families together, but the border is going to be just as tough as it’s been.’ He added: ‘The Democrats want open borders — let everybody pour in, we don’t care….’”
Immigration? MPR’s story on Trump’s visit to Duluth yesterday says, “Donald Trump said he would have no trouble winning Minnesota in 2020, saying he will run on a slogan of ‘Keep America Great.’ Trump’s comments came during an hour-long roundtable with Republican lawmakers and steel workers in Duluth Wednesday night. … He did not address immigration or the order during the roundtable.”
He also played the hits. Via Matthew Nussbaum and Stephanie Murray at Politico: “The president also mocked protesters, slammed ‘Crooked Hillary’ and the FBI, complained about the Russia investigation, mocked the media and bragged that he is ‘smarter,’ ‘richer’ and has ‘a much better apartment’ than his critics. And, like 2016, he was serenaded by the crowd with chants of ‘Build the wall!’ and ‘Lock her up’!”
Trump was greeted by this guest commentary in the Duluth News Tribune from retired economics teacher Bill Mittelfehldt. “Many of us recall when the GOP represented the integrity of U.S. federal policies in the areas of budgeting, foreign policy, business, and families — not aggravated income inequality. Due to the cult-like failure of GOP congressional leadership, we face a growing sea of deception, denials, distortions, and delusions. This cannot end well for our republic in the global community of the 21st century.” Other than that, though, things are going great.
What? I thought it was just a flashback. Lindsay Seavert at KARE-TV says, “As the Fourth of July nears, Minnesota Poison Control is warning the public about a product used to spark colored flames in campfires. Sold in a small foil packet, the chemical has sickened several Minnesota toddlers, even sending one to the hospital. Minnesota Poison Control center employees have responded to four poisoning cases from flame colorant products since summer began, three of the cases from the product, Mystical Fire, made by Mystical Distributing in Canada.”
Affirmed. Says Maura Lerner in the Strib, “It’s official: Students at the 37 Minnesota State colleges and universities will pay the same tuition rate this fall as last year. The board of trustees on Wednesday approved the 2018-19 tuition rates, which will average $4,815 at two-year public colleges and $7,287 at its seven four-year universities. The Legislature had previously mandated a one-year tuition freeze across the system. Mandatory fees, though, will inch up an average of $10 a year at the state colleges and $38 at the universities.”
Disturbing video. From WCCO-TV: “Graphic video highlights the moments leading up to a police shooting at Minneapolis City Hall. Police questioned Marcus Fischer last December in the shooting of a man during a gun sale. They say the 19-year-old pulled out a knife and started cutting himself when officers left him alone. Officers say they used their guns to stop Fischer from hurting himself more. A judge sentenced Fischer as part of a plea deal earlier this month. … Fischer will spend six years in jail.”
Rising river. KSTP-TV reports: “Stillwater is an old river town used to high water on the St. Croix River, and even flooding in some cases. But at the moment, the river is at 683.5 feet above sea level. ‘It’s just not normal anymore, and so as a city and trying to plan for events and maintaining our parks and everything else, it’s just tough,’ mayor Ted Kozlowski said. The mayor has been reaching out to city staff, letting them know things are moving quickly and they need to be prepared for serious flooding in downtown Stillwater. The flooding could impact Stillwater’s Fourth of July festivities, which are two weeks away.”
Charges in St. James murder case. The Star Tribune’s Dan Browing writes: “A 59-year-old man from St. James, Minn., was charged Monday in Watonwan County with murder in the fatal shootings of his wife and her daughter from a previous marriage. According to the criminal complaint, Scott Francis Engelbrecht got into an argument Saturday evening with his wife, Joyce Ann Engelbrecht, 67, when she complained that he once again had forgotten their wedding anniversary. Scott Engelbrecht allegedly shot her in the forehead with a .22-caliber rifle, then turned the gun on her daughter, Rachel Elaine Linder, 43, shooting her three times, including once in the head at close range.”
Happy solstice. Paul Huttner at MPR explains the difference in “summer.” “Here’s a good description of the differences between meteorological and astronomical seasons. You may have noticed that meteorologists and climatologists define seasons differently from “regular” or astronomical spring, summer, fall, and winter. So, why do meteorological and astronomical seasons begin and end at different times? In short, it’s because the astronomical seasons are based on the position of Earth in relation to the sun, whereas the meteorological seasons are based on the annual temperature cycle.” Whatever. We may have 15 and half hours of daylight today. Use it wisely.